SEARCH SCALEAUTOMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Got Future but thinking about polishing or X-22

343 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2019
Got Future but thinking about polishing or X-22
Posted by Energo on Monday, December 2, 2019 12:41 AM

Hello everybody,

 

This is my first post at this forum. I really tried to check everything I could but still can't decide which way to move in my situation. 

I want all clear parts (optics, windshield etc.) look glass-like. Even Tamiya's clear parts are not good enough right from the box and, for my opinion, can destroy the overal look of the model making it toy-like. I've read a lot of articles here and there - some modelers use Future (and I got a bottle to try it), some use X-22 and some... well... you know everything better than me. The problem is - I'm a perfect perfectionist and this drives me crazy some times :) I want to do everything the best possible way available so got a lot of questions.

While Future, as I understand, works well for mass oif aircraft modelers - will it work the same way not for tiny canopies but for a much much bigger 1/24 clear parts of a car model if I dip them in it? I'm afraid that what works well on small parts will not look the same on big mostly flat surfaces. Also Future is not for modelling so I thought that maybe Tamiya X-22 would be better. But with it I will have to use airbrush just because to be able to dip big clear parts in it I'd have to buy a lot of bottles and maybe will not be able to re-use the 99% of remaining product = much more efforst without any guaranteed results :)

And after all, I see that some modelers simply polish clear parts with Tamiya compaunds for example. Well, after polishing, as I understand, I still have to protect the "glass" somehow.

I'm also afraid to get a too shiny clear parts so windows will look like on toy again... Where is that "golden mean" for a car modeller in that case? Could someone help me to stick with a correct tech?

Thanks

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, December 2, 2019 11:50 AM

Welcome to the forum.

There are a number of ways to greatly improve the appearance and realism of kit glass. A lot of kits, especially older kits, have glass that is thick, has a wavy surface, is cloudy or textured, has scuffs or scratches, or has optical ripples, etc. Most modern tooled kits and Japanese kits have nice, thin glass with a smooth surface.

The first thing is to ensure the glass is smooth. If it is not, it can be worked with files and progressively finer grits of sandpaper and Micromesh pads (used wet) until clarity is restored. You can also thin glass that is too thick by sanding it. And of course, any scuffs or scratches can be removed by sanding them out. Be careful working with clear parts. As you know they are quite brittle and can break or crack or form micro-cracks from rough handling or flexing.

Dipping in Future works because the stuff is so self leveling. Dipping in clear such as X-22 would be problematic as the stuff is quite thick/viscous and won't flatten out like Future. The 'glass' will have to be clean and free of fingerprints, etc. After a dip, the part is hung vertically so excess will drip off. It may be necessary to blot drips from the lower edge with a paper towel until the Future sets up. Many people swear by dipping in Future.

Myself, on the otherhand, I don't care for the Future look. After preparing the glass with wet sanding and polishing pads (if necessary) I polish it out with Tamiya polishes. If I have done any sanding or using polishing pads, I start polishing with Tamiya Coarse, otherwise I start with Tamiya Fine (two applications) followed by Tamiya Finish (two applications). Then clean of the glass very well under warm running water, and finish off with a couple of rubs with Tamiya wax. To my eye this gives the most realistic looking kit glass.

"A common mistake people make when designing something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
- Douglas Adams

Trevor

  • Member since
    December 2019
Posted by Energo on Monday, December 2, 2019 2:02 PM

Thank you, Bainford
Just several more questions if you don't mind.

1) maybe a silly question but... do you polish both sides of clear parts or only one?
2) do you use special pads for Tamiya polishing compaunds or some cloth?
3) in some cases you have to put a decal on the top of a windshield = is it possible after using Tamiya wax? Wax is something that can make it impossible as I understand

And one more - close to the point but from a little bit other "angle":
Right now I'm planning to build AMG GT3 from Tamiya. You may know that it has mat body paint and gloss decals. This is a problem. At least for me. I have to cover the body with paint and mat clearcoat. After that I have to put on decals and 90% of modelers say "you can't put them on matt... you'll get silvering as a min" or something like that. So, without seeing any "correct" way to go I'm ready for a small compromiss - cover paint with gloss, put decals and then cover with mat of semi-gloss. This way decals will be also mat or semi-gloss and this may be acceptable - after all they are "bright colored". Well, returning to a windshields - if we forget now about wax and suppose I put decal on a polished windshiled = the windshield is gloss and decal is gloss too. And all other decals are already a little bit "muffled" with mat (semi-gloss) clearcoat.
What would you do in such case?
I'm sorry for such a very detailed question. In fact I'm not going to get a real recipe (but it still be great to get it) but rather I want to understand the "general logic" to stick with.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, December 2, 2019 2:50 PM

You're welcome Energo.

To address your other questions;
1) Yes, I polish both sides of the glass.
2) A soft cloth is suitable. I have a pile of old cloth diapers that I cut pieces from for polishing. They are perfect soft cotton. An old, soft t-shirt would do the trick. I have never tried micro-fibre cloths such as would be used for cleaning eye glasses and camera lenses, but someday I will. Use a fresh piece of cloth for each grit of polish.
3) Excellent point. Any decals that are to be applied to the glass must be done before the wax is applied. If necessary, the wax can be applied after the glass has been glued to the model. It is ok to apply the wax over decals. Also, some glues do not adhere well after the wax has been applied, so plan accordingly.

The question of the gloss decals on the matt body is a tricky one. As you said, the decals cannot be applied to matt paint due to silvering of the clear carrier film, and lack of adhesion. I think in this case I would do as you suggest; paint the body gloss, apply the decals, then cover the whole thing in matt or satin clear. I understand, though, that this may ruin the overall effect of shiny graphics on a matt body.

It may be possible to paint the body with gloss piant, then mask the areas where the decals are to be applied and spray on a matt or satin clear. Seems as though it would be pretty tricky to get it right, though.

Is this the grey AMG Merc with the yellow stripes? If so, are the graphics actually gloss? I just googled some photos of the car and couldn't descern if the stripes were shiny or satin. If they are actually satin, then problem solved.

"A common mistake people make when designing something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
- Douglas Adams

Trevor

  • Member since
    December 2019
Posted by Energo on Monday, December 2, 2019 3:26 PM

Thank you for help!
Yes, AMG Merc with yellow stripes. I also decided that graphics are not 100% gloss as a min and mat or semi-gloss coat would be fine. In that case, are the following steps with a windshield correct to make ALL decals look the same:
1) polish
2) decall
3) mask the polished glass and cover the decall with mat or semi-gloss coat (if necessary)
4) wax the glass except the decal part
Thx

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:39 AM

That sounds like it should work. After applying the decal to the windscreen and letting it dry, you may find that the decal has a natural satin or matt appearance, and may not need its own matt or semi-gloss clear coat.

Use caution when polishing the glass to ensure you don't crack it or induce micro stress cracks. Suppport the glass well when polishing.

"A common mistake people make when designing something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
- Douglas Adams

Trevor

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our privacy policy